Even though everyone’s basic dental anatomy is the same, each mouth is unique. Some children may have congenital oral issues that necessitate dental extractions; other children may experience severe decay that facilitates the need for extraction. Others still may lose a primary tooth prematurely through accident.
Your child’s pediatric dentist may recommend space maintainers after an extraction. Space maintainers are dental appliances that are used to prevent a child’s remaining teeth from shifting following an extraction. These appliances may be constructed of either metal or plastic and can be either removable or cemented to a remaining adjacent tooth.
What Are the Differences Between Space Maintainers?
Removable space maintainers resemble an orthodontic retainer and are generally recommended for older children who understand the importance of treatment compliance. Fixed space maintainers, on the other hand, may be better for younger children or for complex dental spacing issues.
Does Every Missing Tooth Require a Space Maintainer?
Space maintainers are not appropriate or required in every instance of a prematurely missing tooth. Upper front teeth, for example, will naturally maintain their space until the permanent teeth erupt. If a primary tooth is lost early, but evidence indicates that permanent tooth eruption will occur soon, your child’s dentist may decide that a maintainer is not necessary.
What Should I Do If My Child Requires a Space Maintainer?
Don’t hesitate to talk to your pediatric dentist if a space maintainer has been recommended. He or she can answer any questions you may have about the appliance and its maintenance. It is vital that you keep regular dental appointments after the installation of a maintainer, as a variety of problems can arise with negligence.
If you think that your child may need space maintainers, or if you are simply looking for a qualified pediatric dentist, contact us at Ashburn Children’s Dentistry. We provide a complete range of pediatric dental services and would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Call (571) 223-5768 today for an appointment.